Coral Cup hero Whisper followed up his Festival win as he got the better of a sustained set-to with At Fishers Cross in the Silver Cross Stayers’ Hurdle at Aintree.
Tony McCoy had ridden At Fishers Cross enterprisingly from the front and having seen off the close attentions of Zarkandar, he had to fend off the challenge of Salubrious on the stands side.
No sooner had he done that then Whisper appeared on the scene under Barry Geraghty.
Whisper took the initiative and though At Fishers Cross battled hard, he had to be content with second place again, a berth he had filled behind More Of That in the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.
The consistent grey Thousand Stars made up a lot of late ground and ran his customary game race, but never had a hope of matching strides with the front two,
Whisper sweated up considerably on a cool day in the paddock beforehand, but it did not affect him adversely in the race.
The race was sponsored by St Annes businessman Alan Halsall, who has horses running in his colours over jumps.
Silver Cross is one of the country’s pram manufacturers.
Geraghty said of Whisper afterwards: “He got himself into a bit of state beforehand and was over-hyped and over-revved and I thought for most of the way I had no chance, but he does stay.
“At Fishers Cross is hard to pass and even when I did I thought I was in trouble again, but in fairness to my lad, and considering the state he was in, he didn’t give up and stayed really well.”